All eyes look to you, hoping,
and you give them their food right on time,
opening your hand
and satisfying the desire of every living thing.

Psalm 145:15-16

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Nearby were six stone water jars used for the Jewish cleansing ritual, each able to hold about twenty or thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,” and they did. The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.

John 2:6-9a

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One challenge for Christians can be understanding how to relate to our Jewish heritage when Judaism is a living, vibrant tradition that has in no way been supplanted by Christianity. It is important for us to listen to Jewish readers of the Hebrew Bible (what many Christians call the First or Old Testament) to learn what they draw from these holy texts. The Jewish tradition is also helpful for understanding many New Testament passages like this one.

Jesus, who was Jewish, was extremely rooted in his faith. This text says that it wasn’t just any water that he turned into wine, but water used for Jewish cleansing rituals before offering prayers and sacrifices. The wine that was offered, then, was not just for celebration, but for preparing the people to worship God. God’s abundance prepares our hearts for worship, and makes us ready to offer sacrifices, confident that through this abundance, we will never go thirsty.

Jordan Haynie Ware

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Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, by whose word all things came to be. Give me the living water that bubbles up into eternal life, that I may always be refreshed by your goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


(Some phrases inspired by a Jewish blessing, the Shehakol)

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My mouth will proclaim the Lord’s praise,
and every living thing will bless God’s holy name
forever and always.

Psalm 145:21

Jordan Haynie Ware

The Rev. Jordan Haynie Ware is the Rector of Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Jordan is the author of The Ultimate Quest: A Geek’s Guide to (the Episcopal) Church and co-host of the podcast Two Feminists Annotate the Bible. She lives in Edmonton with her husband, Derek, and their retired racing greyhound.


Josh Ritter

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